Falling in love, we said; I fell for him. We were falling women. We believed in it, this downward motion: so lovely, like flying, and yet at the same time so dire, so extreme, so unlikely. God is love, they said once, but we reversed that, and love, like Heaven, was always just around the… Continue reading Falling

Fiction · Writing

Mr Deeds

On Wednesday afternoons Mr Deeds took the bus from the stop at the corner of his street to the cinema in the next town. There was a multiplex a short distance from where he lived, but he preferred the quietness of the smaller theatre, and besides, they offered a senior citizens discount for their matinee… Continue reading Mr Deeds

Life · Literature


As a melancholy, but naively discerning 16-year-old with the millennium – and my life – stretched out terrifyingly ahead of me, I was experiencing the beginnings of the sleep issues that would keep me up into the wee small hours of so many nights in the years ahead. Homeschool, which was much less of a… Continue reading Revelations

Extracts · Literature

On Being Ill

Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise… Continue reading On Being Ill


Wild Geese

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes… Continue reading Wild Geese

Food & Drink · Life

To The Lighthouse

I wanted a coastal drive, although the winter day was dim and bone-chillingly cold, the coast grey and mirage-like in the distance. The restaurant was as far down the road as we could go; a few steps further was a rocky slope down to the sea in one direction and a sheer drop into the… Continue reading To The Lighthouse

Life · Travel

The Road Home

Taking a coach from London to Belfast seemed like such a good idea when I booked it. It would serve two purposes; one naively grand, the other more than a little idiotic. It would be an adventure, I thought, a chance to really see England. My visits over the years, with the exception of my… Continue reading The Road Home

Extracts · Literature

Borges and I

The other one, the one called Borges, is the one things happen to. I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and stop for a moment, perhaps mechanically now, to look at the arch of an entrance hall and the grillwork on the gate; I know of Borges from the mail and see his name… Continue reading Borges and I

Finance · Life · Religion

Money and Me

I have a, shall we say, complicated relationship with money, which I generally manage by checking my bank account only often enough to reassure myself that I haven’t run out of it yet. However, two things have forced me to think about my finances recently: this article on the language of money, and following Marianne… Continue reading Money and Me


The Art Of Failing

I’ve been thinking about failure a lot lately, and how good I am at it. The truth is, I have failed to achieve almost everything that has ever been expected of me (mainly marriage, children and a life of suburban mediocrity by 25 – the thought of which always horrified me, making the failure at… Continue reading The Art Of Failing